It might seem like a vast sea of concrete, but for its size, London is actually one of the greenest cities in the world. That means you can see all different types of flowers in London during the springtime - if you know where to look. So where are the best places to go for a wander and see the city in full bloom? That's where our guide comes in.
This restored giant conservatory is home to one of the oldest Camellia collections outside China and Japan, dating back to the 1830s. Not only do they have some of the earliest varieties brought over to the UK by sea captains, but also some of the rarest examples. The annual Camellia showcase usually runs from the end of February to the end of March (check the website for details) so you can see them in their full glory.
The "Crocus Carpet" is a popular attraction at Kew Gardens and starts to flower when the snow melts from the European mountains. This is usually from the end of February with March seeing the plant in full bloom. Pre-book your ticket (£10 for adults) for access to all the gardens.
This is the most central place to spot a Magnolia and the best time to see it is in March, but you have to be quick as they don't flower for long. St Mary’s church was built in 1715 and is known as one of the Queen Anne churches as the monarch took an interest in the building.
While the first blossoms start to appear in early March, it's in April where you get the full benefit of the flowers from these picturesque Japanese trees.The Cherry Walk at Kew has the largest concentration of Japanese cherries in London and they have been there since 1909. They have the pink-blossomed Prunus Kanzan and Asano as well as the white cherry Taihaku. Author and Japanese cultural enthusiast, Fran Pickering, has written several guides on the best places to find Cherry Blossoms in the capital so that should be your starting point.
This 18th Century country estate is one of the last surviving of its kind in London. Take a stroll through the ancient meadows which pre-date the Georgian splendour of the formal gardens. Entry to the National Trust gardens from £10 for adults / £5 for children.
This Victorian woodland is most famous for its evergreen azaleas. They are best seen at their peak, blooming in late April and early May. The Isabella Plantation is also home to the National Collection of Wilson 50 Kurume Azaelas (brought over in the 1920s from Japan by plant collector Ernest Wilson). While you’re there, check out their colourful collection of rhododendrons too.
The 112 area of parkland around Kenwood House was designed and landscaped by Sir Humphrey Repton. If you visit from the East Lodge entrance you can't miss Rhododendron 'Cynthia' which is on the west side of the gate. There is also a newly planted rhododendron arboreum and you can see more flowers in North Wood as you walk up from the West Lodge.